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Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK

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  • Kangasniemi, Mari
  • Winters, L. Alan
  • Commander, Simon

Abstract

The 'beneficial brain drain' hypothesis suggests that skilled migration can be good for a sending country because the incentives it creates for obtaining training increase that country's net supply of skilled labour. Necessary conditions for this hypothesis to work are that the possibility of migration significantly affects decisions to take medical training and that migrants are not strongly screened by the host country. We conducted a survey among overseas doctors in the UK in 2002, which suggested that neither condition is likely to be fulfilled. Apart from the 'beneficial brain drain' argument, the survey findings also cast light on the backgrounds and motives of migrant doctors, and finds evidence that there could, nonetheless, be other benefits to sending countries via routes like remittances and return migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 65 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 915-923

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:65:y:2007:i:5:p:915-923

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Keywords: UK Migration Brain drain International labour market Doctors;

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References

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  1. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2003. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," IZA Discussion Papers 819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10449, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Hamada, Koichi & Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1975. "Domestic distortions, imperfect information and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-279, September.
  4. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
  5. K. Hamada & J. N. Bhagwati, 1975. "Domestic Distortions, Imperfect Information and the Brain Drain," Working papers 161, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human Capital Depletion, Human Capital Formation, and Migration. A Blessing in a "Curse"?," Economics Series 55, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  7. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
  8. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1975. "Brain drain and economic growth : A dynamic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 223-247, September.
  9. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
  10. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. A M Findlay & F L N Li & A J Jowett & M Brown & R Skeldon, 1994. "Doctors diagnose their destination: an analysis of the length of employment abroad for Hong Kong doctors," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(10), pages 1605-1624, October.
  12. Jean-Pierre Vidal, 1998. "The effect of emigration on human capital formation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 589-600.
  13. Goldfarb, Robert & Havrylyshyn, Oli & Mangum, Stephen, 1984. "Can remittances compensate for manpower outflows : The case of Philippine physicians," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 1-17.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Docquier, Frédéric, 2006. "Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John E. Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2013. "Barefoot and Footloose Doctors: Optimal Resource Allocation in Developing Countries with Medical Migration," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1922, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Elisabetta Lodigiani, 2009. "Diaspora Externalities as a Cornerstone of the New Brain Drain Literature," Development Working Papers 277, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Bhargava, Alok & Docquier, Frédéric & Moullan, Yasser, 2011. "Modeling the effects of physician emigration on human development," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 172-183, March.
  5. Michel, BEINE & Cecily, DEFOORT & Frédéric, DOCQUIER, 2007. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Brain Gain," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007024, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  6. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00399306 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Boncea Irina, 2013. "Medical Brain Drain - A Theoretical Approach," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 64-71, July.
  8. Di Maria, Corrado & Lazarova, Emiliya A., 2012. "Migration, Human Capital Formation, and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 938-955.
  9. Moullan, Yasser, 2009. "Can Health Foreign Assistance Break the Medical Brain Drain?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 22, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  10. Rutten, Martine, 2008. "Medical migration : what can we learn from the UK's perspective ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4593, The World Bank.
  11. Okeke, Edward N., 2013. "Brain drain: Do economic conditions “push” doctors out of developing countries?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 169-178.
  12. Docquier, Frédéric & Faye, Ousmane & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Is migration a good substitute for education subsidies?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-276, June.

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